Hi people.. Apologies, this is going to be a long one.. But I think it is imperative we understand the covenants before anything I'm trying to say here can become more clear. I ask that if you really are interested in what I'm saying, or really are convinced I am wrong, please read this carefully. Attached are 3 images. Charts 1-3. They are each referenced throughout this post.
In Jeremiah 31 it says,
“31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
This prophecy of Jeremiah tells us about a new covenant that the Lord is going to give unto the nation of Israel. Please notice again in verse 1,
“31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:”
Who is the Lord going to make this covenant with? He is going to make it with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, he is going to make it with the Jews which are also called the circumcision, the Israelites, the Hebrews.
Is he going to make this new covenant with the entire world?
The answer is a resounding NO.
Is he going to make this new covenant with the uncircumcised Gentiles?
This new covenant is for Israel.
Don't get too excited yet.. There is of course much more to it than this. Please read on.
Now the main benefit of this new covenant is listed in verse 34 which says,
“…: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
This covenant is about Israel receiving the permanent forgiveness of their sin and the Lord not remembering their sin any more. It is an everlasting covenant. If he were to remember their sin again, then it would not be an everlasting covenant.
In Isaiah 46 it says,
“12 Hearken unto me ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:13 I bring near my righteousness; and it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.”
Where is the Lord going to place salvation and who will it be for?
In Zion FOR ISRAEL.
Question: Does it say, “I will place salvation in Zion for the whole world?” No. Is he going to place it for the uncircumcised Gentiles? NO.
He very specifically says it will be for Israel.
In Malachi 3 it says,
“1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Jesus quotes this verse and refers it to John the Baptist. In Matthew 11 it says,
“8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”
So from Malachi 3:1 and Matthew 11 we see that John is the messenger of the new covenant. Jesus is not the messenger of the new covenant, Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant, John is the messenger. In Malachi 3:1 the Lord of hosts that is speaking is Jesus Christ, and the messenger that is to come before him is John the Baptist.
Regardless of who you feel is the messenger of the new covenant, the point is, the new covenant is now being offered to Israel when John the baptist comes on the scene.
In Luke 16 it says,
“16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
Since the time John came on the scene the kingdom is preached. John was preaching about 6 months before the Lord was. John is the messenger of the new covenant.
Once again, this new covenant has to do with Israel getting the forgiveness of their sin and God not remembering their sin anymore. In Luke 21 it says,
“27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
When did the Lord say that they would get their redemption? When he comes back in a cloud and great glory. This is the second coming of Christ. This is when Israel will get their new covenant.
Has He returned yet?
In Acts 3 Peter is preaching the gospel of the kingdom and he says,
“19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
When will Israel get their sins blotted out? When the Lord comes back. This is the new covenant.
In Romans 11 Paul says,
“25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
When will Israel get their sins taken away? When the Deliverer shall roar out of Zion. Once again this is the second coming and is when Israel will receive their new covenant.
In Daniel 9 it says,
“24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
When will this happen? At the end of the seventieth week. This is when the Lord will finish the transgression and make an end of sins and make reconciliation for iniquity and bring in everlasting righteousness. Once again, this is Israel’s new covenant.
In Hebrews 9 it says,
“28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
When will the Hebrews receive their salvation? At the second coming of Christ.
In 1st Peter 1 it says,
“4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
When will the Jews receive their salvation and their grace? When Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven at the second coming. Not until the fullness of the gentiles come in.
There are many verses that tell us that the new covenant is at the second coming of Christ. This is when Israel will receive the permanent forgiveness of their sins and God will remember their sin no more.
This new covenant was prophesied by Jeremiah and offered unto Israel by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Apostles.
In Matthew 10 it says,
“5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Why did Jesus tell the apostles not to go to the Gentiles? It appears that it was because they were offering the new covenant unto Israel. The new covenant was made for Israel, not the uncircumcised Gentiles. The uncircumcised Gentiles were strangers from the covenants of promise. Genesis 17.
In John 4, Jesus talked to a Gentile woman and told her,
“22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”
Why did Jesus tell her that salvation was of the Jews? Because when Isaiah was alive Jesus told him to write,
“…I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.”
So what we have here is the new covenant being offered unto the nation of Israel. This is the salvation that the Lord promised them. The new covenant was not promised to uncircumcised Gentiles, never was, never will be.
Let’s go ahead and look at time chart 1. This chart shows us in orange when John the Baptist came and began to preach the kingdom which is when Israel will receive the new covenant. Jesus and the apostles followed suit and this new covenant was to be offered unto Israel all the way to the end of the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy.
In blue we have the new covenant church (or kingdom church if you prefer) this new covenant church is for Jews only, it does not include uncircumcised Gentiles, for they are strangers from the covenants of promise. The purple area shows the uncircumcised Gentiles. We have this church beginning at Acts 2 or the cross whichever you prefer. As long as you see it did start, the exact pinpoint of time is not crucial for now.
In the lower center in pink we see the everlasting covenant of circumcision, which separates the circumcision from the uncircumcision. God made this separation in Genesis 17. This is part of the middle wall of partition.
The 1st chart also shows the second coming of Christ and how Israel’s new covenant is given at this time.
On this chart the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel are not separated by the dispensation of grace to show how things are supposed to line up. This is God offering the new covenant unto the nation of Israel.
On chart 2, we can see the separation of the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel by the dispensation of grace given unto the Gentiles. As you can see, the one new man has been inserted into the church which is how God would save the Gentiles and join them with the Jews together in one body.
At the rapture, (and as far as I know, orthodox christians don't adhere to the rapture or the catching away full stop, but anyway), the one new man will be taken out of the way but the new covenant church will proceed through the tribulation. This is not a study on the rapture or the one new man but rather on the new covenant and the new covenant church, so we won’t go into those details here.
At the lower center of this chart we see the circumcision made without hands. This was accomplished by the one new man.
Also you will notice in orange again, that the offering of the new covenant has ceased. It has been replaced by the offering of the body of Christ to Jew and Gentile during the dispensation of grace. This is a spiritual new covenant rather than the new covenant of the letter. I'd be happy to discuss this in more detail if anyone is interested.
During the tribulation, there will be some uncircumcised Gentiles that bless Israel and they will be allowed into the kingdom but they will not be partakers with Israel. At the second coming of Christ, the Lord Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats. In Matthew 25 it says,
“31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
These Gentiles that bless Israel will be allowed into the kingdom but they will not, I repeat, will not be partakers with Israel. When the Lord comes back this is when Israel will receive their grace that was promised them, but the Lord will rule over the nations with a rod of iron. In Revelation 19 it says,
“15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
Also when he gets back, the uncircumcised Gentiles that made it through the tribulation will not be allowed into Jerusalem any more. In Isaiah 52 it says,
“1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”
The uncircumcised Gentiles will not be able to go INTO Jerusalem, but they will be forced to come UNTO Jerusalem to worship the King. In Zechariah 14 it says,
“16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.”
If they do not come unto Jerusalem to worship the King at the feast of tabernacles the Lord will punish them with drought. Also in verse 21 it says that there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord.
Also as Israel is receiving their grace that they were promised, the uncircumcised Gentiles will be receiving a law to follow from the Lord. In Isaiah 42 it says,
1“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.”
During the 1000 year reign of Christ, while Israel receives their grace, the uncircumcised Gentiles that make it through the tribulation will be ruled with a rod of iron, will not be allowed to go into Jerusalem, will be forced to keep the feast of tabernacles or be punished, and they will be under a law that will be given to them by the Lord.
The uncircumcised Gentiles will be under a law, and the Jews will be under grace. The Jews will be the head and the Gentiles will be the tail.
The uncircumcised Gentiles WILL NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT be partakers with Israel. Just because God allows them into the kingdom does not make them partakers with the nation of Israel nor does it remove the everlasting covenant of circumcision.
Now at the end of the 1000 year reign God will make a new heaven and a new earth. The everlasting covenants that he gave will still be in effect such as the new covenant given to Israel and the covenant of circumcision.
God himself will descend from Heaven with the New Jerusalem. Inside the gates of the city will be a tree of life on each side of the river of life. Israel will dwell in the city as will the body of Christ, but there will be uncircumcised Gentiles outside of the city.
The fruit from the tree of life has something to do with allowing flesh to live forever. Adam in his sinful state could have eaten from the tree of life in the garden of Eden and lived forever. God had to kick him out of the garden so he would die.
Even so, when God brings down the New Jerusalem he will have a tree of life on each side of the river. In order for the people of the world that live outside the city, for them to be able to get to the tree of life they will have to do the Lord’s commandments. In Revelation 22 it says,
“14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
If they do not do the Lord’s commandments, they will not be allowed inside the gates of the New Jerusalem to get to the tree of life. If they cannot partake of the tree of life, they will eventually die. Death and hell have already been cast into the lake of fire, so when they die they will go straight to the lake of fire.
This is not salvation by grace through faith. This is not being partakers with Israel in their new covenant. These people that live outside the city, and if they do not do the Lord’s commandments, he WILL remember their sin. They will not have eternal life. Their eternal life is based upon partaking of the tree of life which is based upon doing the commandments of the Lord.
So what we have here is a clear understanding that the salvation that was offered to Israel is not the same salvation that is offered to the people outside of the New Jerusalem.
Israel’s salvation in their everlasting new covenant will be based upon grace and not remembering their sin anymore. The salvation of the people outside of the New Jerusalem will be based upon them having right to the tree of life based upon them doing the commandments of the Lord.
These are not the same. Let’s look at chart 3.
During this dispensation of grace that we are living in God has done something very special for us. We have been made partakers of Israel’s spiritual things by the one new man (the body of Christ). It is very unique, and we should be very, very thankful.
So what we have covered here is what the new covenant really is, who it was given to, and when it will come into effect. We have also seen that the grace that will be given to Israel at the new covenant will not be given to the uncircumcised Gentiles.
In Genesis 17 God separated man into two distinct entities, circumcision and uncircumcision. He said that this covenant would be in their flesh and that this would be an everlasting covenant and he meant it. He made covenants with the circumcision, not the uncircumcision. The uncircumcision were strangers from the covenants of promise.
Only through the one new man has God joined circumcision and uncircumcision into one body.
Once again, apologies for the extra long post.